Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 515-12-1-.34 - Code of Conduct for Winback Activities

Current through Rules and Regulations filed through April 4, 2022

(1) Definitions.
(a) Customer: Any person, firm partnership, corporation, municipality, cooperative, organization, governmental agency, etc., provided with telecommunications services by a Local Exchange Company.
(b) Local Exchange Company ("LEC") or Local Service Provider: A telecommunications company certified by the Commission to provide local exchange services (as defined in O.C.G.A. Section 46-5-162(11)).
(c) Proprietary Information: Information received by one LEC ("the receiving LEC") from another LEC ("the providing LEC") that:
(i) the providing LEC reasonably designates as proprietary and confidential; or
(ii) the receiving LEC has reason to believe the providing LEC intends to be treated as proprietary and confidential.
(d) Telecommunications service: Any service within the definition of "telecommunications service" set forth in O.C.G.A. Section 46-5-162(18).
(2) Nondiscrimination.
(a) No LEC shall represent, state, or imply that the sale, lease or use of any product or service provided by the LEC or any affiliate, agent or representative is conditioned upon the purchase, lease, use or continuation of any other product or service from such LEC or affiliate, agent or representative of such LEC if:
(i) such LEC or its affiliate, agent or representative does not in fact impose such condition; or
(ii) such LEC or its affiliate, agent or representative is prohibited by applicable law, rule, regulation, order or tariff from imposing such condition.
(b) Nothing herein shall preclude a LEC from bundling telecommunications services with other services as permitted by applicable law.
(3) Employee Conduct.
(a) LECs are prohibited from disparaging or degrading a competitor or its services or employees and must implement training, practices, and policies to comply with this requirement. In addition, no LEC employee, representative or agent while processing an order for the installation or while engaged in the actual installation, repair or restoration of service or equipment on behalf of another LEC shall either directly or indirectly:
(i) represent to any customer that such repair or restoration of service would have occurred sooner if the end-user had obtained service from the LEC of which such individual is an employee, representative or agent; or
(ii) promote the service of the LEC of which such individual is an employee, representative or agent to the customer.
(4) Marketing.
(a) No LEC shall make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated before the public by means of any media or advertising device or by public outcry or proclamation or any other manner or means any statement concerning its provision of any telecommunications service, or concerning any circumstances or matter of fact connected with the proposed performance or disposition thereof which is untrue or fraudulent and which is known or which by the exercise of ordinary care should be known to be untrue or fraudulent.
(b) LECs shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations concerning end user customer privacy.
(c) Consistent with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "Statement on Deceptive Advertising," LECs shall comply with the following requirements in marketing their telecommunications services:
(i) When an advertisement makes claims that are not directly false but might be misleading in the absence of qualifying or limiting information, the LEC is responsible for ensuring that the advertisement disclosures such qualifying or limiting information and that such disclosures are conspicuous;
(ii) A LEC must ensure that claims in an advertisement related to price must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, including any monthly fees, minimum per-call charges, or any other information that significantly affects the total charge for the service, calling plan, or call; and
(iii) A LEC must clearly and conspicuously disclose in an advertisement any significant conditions or limitations on the availability of the advertised price.
(d) A LEC shall not misrepresent itself or any other affiliate in a manner that is misleading to an end user customer relative to the services it provides.
(e) A LEC shall not knowingly make unfair or inaccurate comparisons of services offered by another LEC. In making a comparison of the LEC's prices to the prices offered by a competitor, the LEC is making an implied representation that such prices are current and the LEC must have a reasonable basis for this representation.
(5) Transfer of Service.
(a) Subject to all applicable rules, regulations, and orders, no LEC shall:
(i) prevent an end user customer from changing from one LEC to another LEC in an efficient and reasonable manner;
(ii) interfere with an end user customer's selection of another local service provider; or
(iii) cause a change of an end user customer's local service provider without that customer's consent.
(6) Information Sharing and Disclosure.
(a) Each LEC has a duty to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information of, and relating to, any other LEC.
(b) Any LEC that receives or obtains proprietary information from another LEC for the purposes of providing any telecommunications service shall use such information only for such purpose, and shall not use such information for its own marketing efforts.
(7) Operational Requirements.
(a) LECs shall maintain and have on file with this Commission customer service contact information and a company contact escalation list. This information shall be filed on an annual basis, except that LECs shall file any changes to this information on a quarterly basis. The date for the annual filing shall be March 31st of each year. LECs shall make this information available to other LECs.
(b) When an end user customer has switched local service providers, the content of the original provider's final bill may not contain any information that can reasonably be construed as an attempt to target the customer, and ultimately dissuade the customer from moving to their new provider.
(c) LECs that receive "misdirected calls" from former end user customers (e.g., customers who are trying to reach their current local service provider, but have in error reached their previous provider) must either transfer the customer to the current serving LEC or provide a contact number for that carrier.
(8) Repealed.
(9) Preferred Local Carrier Freeze. LECs shall not provide or offer a preferred local carrier freeze.


Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 515-12-1-.34
O.C.G.A. Secs. 46-2-20, 46-5-161, 46-5-168, 46-5-169.
Original Rule entitled "Code of Conduct for Winback Activities" adopted. F. Apr. 1, 2003; eff. 4/21/2003. Amended: F. June 3, 2009; eff. 6/23/2009.

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